For the second time in a week, fish that thrive best in warm waters have been found beached in Norway. Scientists think they’re being carried north by warm currents, and note that such sightings are most common in the autumn.
A group of children out on a midday excusion along the shore at Huk on Bygdøy in Oslo came upon a swordfish earlier this week, lying on its side on the beach. On Wednesday a woman out walking along the beach at Buvika in Sør-Trøndelag found a large, beached månefisk, often called a sunfish or blowfish in English. “At first I thought it was plastic that had washed ashore,” Janne Øyås Olsen told state broadcaster NRK. “But when I looked more closely, I could see it was a large fish. It was quite a sight.”
Both species are much more at home in warmer, even tropical waters. While swordfish were described by a researcher as “very seldom” in Norwegian waters, it’s not the first time they’ve made their way to the North Atlantic and beyond. The other discovery was somewhat more common.
“From the 1800s until today, there have been over a hundred observations of månefisk along our coast,” Torkild Bakken, leader of the natural history institute at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, told NRK. “It’s during the autumn that they follow the warm currents northwards, hunting for nourishment.” He said nearly all observations have been made between August and December.
The one found this week weighed in at more than 200 kilos (440 pounds) and measured 161 centimeters from mouth to tail. Efforts were being made to preserve its skeleton and determine cause of death.